A Hope Story: Prenatal Patient Advocacy with Ashley Zink, MD and Rick Smith

  • Each attendant will hear a firsthand parent account of their diagnosis experience when they learned that their son had Down Syndrome. That experience led them to start Hope Story, a non-profit dedicated to helping physicians, midwives, genetic counselors, and any other medical professional involved in an initial Down Syndrome diagnosis experience to have the communication skills and resources needed to relay this information with accuracy and compassion. They will then hear from a Maternal Fetal Medicine physician who has seen the benefit of the community connection that Hopestory.org has provided for her patients. She will discuss a communication framework that has also been endorsed in the literature as being optimally beneficial for these families at the time of their diagnosis conversation.

    Level of Instruction: Basic

    Webinar CEU

    Only the live session qualifies for CEUs but when possible, we host the recordings on our website and NSGC recommends participants to use their personal email instead of work email addresses to ensure they receive their CEU certificates.

    Webinar PACE

    Ambry Genetics is approved as a provider for continuing education program by NSGC and ASCLS P.A.C.E ® Program.

Fetal Medicine Physican 

Dr. Ashley Zink is a highly regarded maternal fetal medicine physician serving Dallas and its Northern Suburbs. Growing up in Plano, Texas, she always wanted to be a physician, and her path to her passion included completing her undergraduate studies at Baylor University and earning her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. After medical school, Dr. Zink pursued residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas where she found her heart for the complexities of pregnancy and prenatal diagnosis. After completing her fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill Dr. Zink returned to her hometown and she has been providing exceptional care to pregnant women and their babies since 2010 as an Associate Professor with University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Patients consistently praise her warm and compassionate bedside manner and her unwavering dedication to going the extra mile for their wellbeing. In 2019 she was awarded the UT Southwestern Patient and Family Recognition Award and Texas Monthly has recognized her as one of their Super Doctors. Referring physicians appreciate her approachability, attention to detail and expertise in ultrasound, prenatal diagnosis, and management of complicated maternal conditions. Outside the office, Dr. Zink actively contributes to the pregnancy community as a member of the board of directors for two national nonprofit organizations: Hopestory.org and AbelSpeaks.org. She firmly believes that support changes stories, and has seen the benefit of the connection that these two organizations provide her own patients. Hopestory connects families with a new diagnosis of Down Syndrome with a family in their area already parenting a child and AbelSpeaks provides support for families experiencing a life limiting diagnosis for their expected baby. She and her husband love getting away to our National Parks in their Airstream with their Weimaraner Cedric, and managing Cedric’s Instagram account provides a fun creative diversion.

President, Hope Story

Rick Smith is the President and Co-Founder of Hope Story; a nationwide non-profit that provides no-cost resources to medical professionals and their patients who receive a Down syndrome diagnosis.

Genomic Science Liasion II at Ambry Genetics

Margo Gallegos joined Ambry Genetics in 2020 as the Specialty Genomic Science Liaison for the Northeast United States territory. Margo received her Bachelors of Science degree in Cell Biology and Genetics from University of Maryland, College Park. She earned her Masters of Science degree in Genetic Counseling from University of South Carolina School of Medicine and is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. She previously worked as a pediatric genetic counselor at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C, and an oncology genetic counselor at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, MD. Her volunteer interests include public policy and licensure of genetic counselors both at the state and federal level. She previously helped lead the effort to obtain licensure for genetic counselors in Maryland. She is currently a chair on the NSGC Access and Service Delivery Committee and chair of the Maryland Board of Physicians Genetic Counseling Regulatory Committee.
  • Thu, October 12, 2023
  • 11:00am PDT
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • C.E.U.
    1 Category 1 Contact Hour
  • P.A.C.E. 1 unit

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